A Japanese rail company once apologised when a train left its station 25 seconds early. The operator said, “the great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable”.
After Sir Isaac Newton died, his hair was examined and found to have contained mercury, probably resulting from his alchemical pursuits. Many historians believe that this probable mercury poisoning could explain his eccentric behavior in his later life.
America’s tipping culture came from Europe in the 1850s, but it was so unpopular that it was made illegal in 6 states, and the anti-tipping movement spread back to Europe, decimating tipping in Europe to what it is today. Meanwhile the opposite happened in America, tipping was gradually accepted.
A bridge in Ireland that was designed to swing open for ships couldn’t be opened for four years because someone lost the remote control.
In 1926 a U.S. Marine was crowned King of the Haitian island of Gonâve, the first and only American to become a ruling monarch. His reign ended when the Marines transferred him to his next duty station.
Louis Chevrolet, a Swiss immigrant in America, co-founded the famous car company and later sold off his stake in his company. After failed business ventures and the 1929 crash, the impoverished Chevrolet then got work as a simple mechanic at his own namesake company and died penniless.
During the Golden Age of Piracy, many pirates set up social safety net programs such as disability payments for injuries sustained while at sea, as well as life insurance to be paid to a pirate’s family if they died.
In 2013 the Vatican had to pull 6000 papal medals from sale because the inscription said “Lesus“ instead of “Jesus”.
Dr. Werner Forssmann fed a catheter into an artery in his arm and on into his heart without knowing what the consequences would be. He then made an X-ray as proof. This procedure eventually revolutionised heart surgery. In 1956 he was awarded with the Nobel Price for Physiology or Medicine.
During WWII, the US provided training and equipment for a Vietnamese group called the Viet Minh that was resisting Japanese occupation. The Viet Minh became the foundation of the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong that the US fought during the Vietnam War.